EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-INEC Chairman, Iwu Over Alleged N1.2bn Money Laundering

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu.

Professor Iwu was re-arraigned on Thursday before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The anti-graft agency, in a statement, said he arraigned the former INEC boss on four counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1,203,000,000.

Professor Iwu was first arraigned on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, a vacation judge, but the matter was re-assigned to Justice Oweibo for trial.

According to the EFCC, he is alleged to have aided the concealment of the money between December 2014 and March 2015 in the account of Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria domiciled in a commercial bank.

Count 2 of the charge read: “That you, Professor Maurice Mmaduakolam Iwu, between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, procured Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria(BION) Limited to retain the aggregate sum of  N1, 203,00,000.00( One Billion, Two Hundred and Three Million Naira) in Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria, (BION) Limited’s Account No. 1018603119 domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act, to wit: fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 18 (c), 15(2) (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act , 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section (5) (3) of the same Act.”

The former chairman of the electoral body, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, asked the court for a trial date.

On his part, the defence counsel, A. Usman, informed the court that the defendant has been enjoying the bail granted him by Justice Obiozor upon his first arraignment.

He, therefore, urged the court to allow the defendant to continue with the bail terms granted by Justice Obiozor.

Usman also informed the court that he had filed a motion challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the case.

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo adjourned the matter until November 25, for the hearing of the motion.

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